I caught up with Richard Sachs for an in-depth video interview on the final day of the 2012 NAHBS in Sacramento to discuss the how the show has changed since its inception seven years ago in Houston, his thoughts on bike building, his cyclocross team, the return of Dan Timmerman (after an early retirement in June 2010), and the photo essay that Nick Czrula recently did on him [Sachs]. Despite Sachs’ being in constant demand from his many fans at the show, he spent a good part of half an hour sharing his insights with me.
Richard Sachs has been building bikes as long as anyone, and remains one of the the “Original Six” (now “Original Five”) builders who have attended the show each and every year. For a passerby, you might think he drags the same beautiful lugged bikes to the show every year, but there certainly have been some changes and improvements over the years.
One such change has been his move to the PegoRichie tubing that he began using in 2005, developed in conjunction with Italian builder Dario Pegoretti after their dissatisfaction with the tubing that was available. Another change he’s made has been his switch to vertical dropouts for his cyclocross team bikes, for faster accurate rear wheel changes. These are part of the continuing evolution of a builder’s bicycle that he discusses in part one of the video interview. He’s also changed his componentry, adopting the wider rims of Cole wheels, and switching to SRAM drivetrains from Campagnolo.
We turned to his new Uber Over Sized tubeset that he commissioned from Columbus of Italy (as well as the Sax Max lugs, BB shell and fork crown to match). Though it is something he wanted to use for certain applications, he thought other builders would benefit from the availability of a new steel tubeset with these larger dimensions. He was not yet sure it was the right choice for cyclocross, but given that the first tubesets arrived only a short few weeks ago, he said he will decide by mid-year after having experimented with it with some cyclocross race bikes this fall.
Sachs remains a long-time supporter of cyclocross, and also races quite a bit himself. Look for Sachs and his team at most New England races throughout the year.